vegan foods with more protein per calorie than beef

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When it comes the wild world of proteins and protein supplements, one of the most common critiques of plant-based diets is the issue of complete versus incomplete proteins as well as how much protein per amount of weight is the proteins that we consume. Although we know now that our bodies can pull the components of essential amino acids from our diet, it’s important to keep in mind that, even when we consume proteins, we are also consuming calories.

What to Consider When Measuring Your Protein

Simply put, amounts in grams aren’t the only (or the most important) factors that matter when measuring the protein in food or supplement. Especially if you consume meat, it’s important to always take into consideration what percentage of total calories are made up in the food.


For example, beef and other animal foods may contain a decent amount of protein, but they are also high in calories. In fact, per amount of calories, beef and other animal proteins (including fish) have higher levels of cholesterol-forming saturated animal fats than plant protein alternatives.


Contrastingly, plant-based protein foods have fewer calories and provide a wide variety of amino acid sources that your body can form complete proteins out of on its own. Interestingly, despite the critiques of naysayers, plant-based diets can also deliver a protein regime that, per gram has a higher percentage of protein than an animal protein based diet.


As ever, variety is the spice of life so you may want to keep in mind that some plant-based foods are higher in protein percentage than others and include an assortment of plant-based proteins in your diet and protein regime.

Plant-based Proteins vs. Beef

Even though meat, eggs, dairy have all been linked to various kind of cancer and other chronic diseases, more meat and animal products are being consumed than ever before. As the third most consumed meat in the world, and a popular American favorite, we’re going to compare it against some healthier—and more environmentally friendly—plant-based diet options.



Beef contains seven grams of protein per ounce, which is around 75 calories. There is an increasingly strong body of research-based evidence that links excessive meat consumption, particularly of red and processed meats, with heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, obesity, certain cancers, and even earlier death.


Per ounce, Spirulina actually contains the highest protein percentage of all protein, whether plant-based or animal. Just one teaspoon of Spirulina contains 4 grams of protein, which is unheard of in all other sources of protein. This blue-green algae is also a fantastic source of iron; one teaspoon delivers 80% of your daily iron needs in addition to a dose of vital trace minerals and B vitamins.


Like many plant-based proteins, Spirulina also helps your body alkalize itself to reduce inflammation which is sometimes caused by animal proteins like whey.


Spinach is not only a great source of iron and Vitamin C, but it is also 51% protein. That means you can get as much as five grams per cup of Spinach for only 30 calories. Because Spinach is delicious and easy to enjoy, it can be easily incorporated into your diet in everything from salads and sandwiches to smoothies.


Spinach is particularly beneficial for women because it is a good source of folate, a B vitamin that contributes to strength brain function, and reproductive health in women.

Hemp Seeds

You may be surprised to learn that hemp seeds are one of the easiest ways to enjoy the benefits of a plant-based diet. Hemp seeds are rich in all of our essential amino acids; per ounce (the equivalent of two tablespoons), hemp seeds deliver 10 grams protein high in fiber, omega three, and omega six fatty acids that help your body lower its cholesterol levels.


Like spirulina, hemp seeds are also alkalizing and help to boost both your mood and energy levels thanks to the high percentage of magnesium these seeds deliver. If you’re looking for a metabolism boost, hemp seeds contain 45% of your daily iron needs; not only does this help your body deliver oxygen to vital systems, it also increases your energy throughout the day.

Feeling the difference between animal vs plant protein

As you can see, plant-based diet benefits outweigh the health and environmental harms that are caused by the consumption and production of animal products and proteins. When it comes to your diet and protein regime, make sure that you’re incorporating proteins that are easily digestible and sans all the fillers and sugars that can do you more harm than good.


Although you don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the benefits of plant-based proteins thanks to products like PCN, unlocking a happier and healthier you through plant-based proteins has never been easier. In addition to being easier on your body and the environment, diets high in plant protein are linked with many health benefits, including the lowered risks of weight gain or obesity, stroke, cancer, and death from heart disease.

One study even found that incorporating one daily serving of beans, chickpeas, lentils or the yellow pea protein found in PCN, not only increases fullness but can lead to improved weight management and weight loss.

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